The book which won al-Qastallani his fame

Qastallani, Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-. Irshad al-sari li-sharh Sahih al-Bukhari.

Egypt, 18th century CE.

Folio (195 x 300 mm). 485 ff. Arabic manuscript on polished paper. Black naskh script with important words and phrases picked out in red. Late 18th or early 19th century full brown leather with fore-edge flap, ruled in blind, with floriated medallions stamped in blind.


The most acclaimed commentary on the famous hadith collection "Sahih al-Bukhari", itself considered second only to the Qur'an by many Sunni Muslims. Al-Qastallani (1448-1517) completed this monumental work in ten volumes, the fourth of which is preserved here. Al-Qastallani was a Sunni scholar who wrote on both hadith and jurisprudence and was a leading voice of one of the most impressive intellectual milieus of the late medieval period. He was a contemporary of the indominable Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (ca. 1445-1505 CE), and the two men reputedly had several philosophical disagreements. Al-Suyuti and al-Qastallani shared their school of Sunni theology, the Ash'ari, of which al-Qastallani was considered a notable proponent. However, they were at first aligned with different schools of thought regarding Muslim jurisprudence, with al-Qastallani initially of the Maliki school and al-Suyuti firmly of the Shafi'i. In the end, it was al-Qastallani who ceded ground to his respected peer, and later in life aligned himself with both the Shafi'i school and with al-Suyuti's interpretation of one of their major disputes.

This volume, spanning nearly 500 folios, exemplifies the depth and breadth of al-Qastallani's abilities, and of the intellectual traditions from which he came.


Some light wear and repairs; text block detached from binding; text itself in good condition, sharp and legible, with little soiling.


GAL II, 73, no. 2.

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